Get Ready! TEE Probe Leak Test Soon Mandatory

*UPDATE: Effective 12/31/15, electrical leak testing of TEE probes is now mandatory per the IAC.

Proper maintenance of your TEE probe is critical to ensure high quality images and to extend the life of your delicate and expensive device. Electrical leak tests help you to properly maintain your device. More important, leak tests can prevent your patients from harmful electrical currents.

Effective December 31, 2015, the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) will require that you perform electrical leak tests on all transesophageal (TEE) ultrasound transducers between each use. In addition, you will need to document whether the test passes or fails in a log, with appropriate action taken if the probe fails.

Don’t get caught off guard in December when you are asked if you’re performing an electrical leak test for each TEE probe between uses. Take the time now to prepare: buy the necessary equipment (electrical leak testers) and train your staff on the process.

What is an “electrical leak test”?

An electrical leak test checks for damage to the shaft of the TEE probe that could result in electrical discharge to a patient during a procedure.

How do you do an electrical leak test?

You will need an electrical leak tester. CIVCO Medical Solutions has one available here.

The steps to performing the electrical leak test are:

  1. Pre-clean the TEE probe, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  2. Inspect the TEE probe for obvious signs of damage: bite marks, cuts, etc. Document any damage.
  3. Attach the TEE probe adapter to the leak tester.
  4. Immerse the TEE probe (but not the handle or steering mechanism) in a solution that will conduct electricity, such as saline or an enzymatic solution. You can either immerse the probe’s shaft in a basin or use your GUS® G14TC-3 disinfectant tube (as long as it has the feature that allows the leak tester’s electrodes to attach).
  5. Place the leak tester’s dual electrode in the solution to a depth of at least one inch.
  6. Check the solution for conductivity (consult leak tester’s manual).
  7. Perform leak test (consult leak tester’s manual).
  8. Document the results.
  9. If ‘passed’, perform high-level disinfection and store your TEE probe upright in a clean, dry environment to prevent contamination.
  10. If ‘failed’, contact Biomedical Engineering or the probe manufacturer to have it serviced. You can test a different TEE probe to make sure your leak tester is working correctly.

NOTE: Throughout the entire process, take care not to tap the delicate distal tip. In addition, make sure that the electrical connector holder and steering mechanism do not come in contact with any fluids.